Friday, May 21, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Right, I know, Spring is almost over. But we did in fact welcome my favorite season with a fun-filled Spring party during spring break. Sofia and I made the invitations and invited some of her sweet little friends over to celebrate. The girls had a barbecue, played dress up, had an Easter Egg hunt, went to the park and finished with cupcakes and goody bags for all. It was a blast for everyone! Here are some of the highlights...

Syd LOVES Everything Dirt

Miss Sydnei is a HUGE fan of mud, dirt, and puddles. Really, if you think about it, what else do you need to have fun outside when you're a kid? She will spend hours making "pies" and putting dirt in special places all over the back yard. We love watching her do this and of course, she loves eating it while she plays and getting it all over because she knows there is a nice long shower that awaits her when she's all done playing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yes I Can!

We all have our weaknesses, bad habits and personal struggles in life, which can haunt us at every turn. I know I do and many times feel utterly defeated because of them. I want to improve those and progress and not feel like I can't overcome them. I don't want my struggles to paralyze me to the point I can't move forward and progress. We all want that, don't we?

I'm learning to take small steps and convince my mind that it's through those small steps that I CAN improve, grow, and progress. This Mom certainly has personal struggles in life that are VERY different than mine. We all have different struggles, this couldn't be more true. The inspiration I received from this Mom of her determination to overcome her disabilities and achieve her goal to be a Mother caring for her young baby boy was just what I needed to watch. I was reminded that, yes, I can overcome my own struggles and achieve the goals I dream of achieving.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Little Dialogue w/My Nearly-Six-Year-Old

Sofia: Whoa! Mom! You've been working really hard to clean the kitchen.

Mami: Why thank you, Sofia. Thank you for noticing...I think it's turned out real nice (subtle Napoleon Dynamite reference)

Sofia: Well you know, Mom, you're going to HAVE to work this hard to clean your room today!

Mami: Yes, Sofia, you're right. Thank you for the reminder. I'm going to get right on that after I finish in here.

Sofia: Great idea!

There is nothing like having a "little" Mami in the house to encourage you. Sofia has become quite the motherly type--definitely the result of being a big sister of a little toddler who adores her--and she does it so well. :) I love my Sof.

Sofia on Easter Morning--sporting her new t-shirt and striking a "look-to-the-side" pose. She is always doing random poses and is so sassy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My One and Only

Forgive the blurry and fuzziness.
This is the last pic we took together and it was with a phone camera and bad lighting! January 2010.

Ryan (David to some) and I have been married for 8 1/2 years. This month we'll celebrate the 9th anniversary of our first date (and yes, we have always celebrated our first date). I can't believe that we've been together nearly a decade. Our marriage has been my greatest accomplishment in life. I'm not saying that having my children, serving a mission, or graduating from college aren't great accomplishments. I simply mean that our nearly nine years of marriage has required more love, sacrifice, and work than any other single thing I've attempted and succeeded.

Our story is special to me and reminds me a lot of the Gospel Principles of unconditional love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and faith. The love that we have has developed and deepened over time. It's been a process that has resulted from really amazing experiences and really difficult times plus all that is in between. Each experience, each moment has deepened our love for each other and the mutual dedication we have to each other and our marriage. If it weren't for the sacrifices and forgiveness we've each given or asked for, we wouldn't still be married. There's something to be said about sacrificing for the benefit and happiness of another.

He loves me.

I still get those butterflies when I pick him up after not seeing him all day. I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world because he is my husband and best friend. I find a lot of comfort and confidence knowing that he stands by me and always will. He gets me and that's one of my favorite parts of our love because I know that whatever he says to me in the best of times and worst of times he does so with all of the love and understanding in the world. I'm proud and fortunate that he is the father to my children. Our girls are the apple of his eye and the way he interacts with them and shows them how much he loves them is priceless. I always wanted a man like Ryan to be the father of my children. I held out until I found him and am so grateful I did. I love you, Ryan.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Birthday Party for Dr. King

Sofia has been engulfed in the story of Dr. King's life. She studied about it at school and learned about his life, his work, his legacy and the injustice of racism he worked tirelessly to eliminate. She shared the story of Rosa Parks with us more times than I can remember. There is something about the five-year old mind and how in touch they are with injustice. Dr. King's story is forever ingrained in her mind--I don't think she'll ever forget what she has learned from him.

I shared the story with her that my Mom used to share about riding the Street Car in New Orleans in the 60's when the conductor would insist on any "colored" person getting up so that she could sit down. She always spoke about the injustice she thought it was that they would have to get up so that she could sit down just because she was white. My Mom always said she would refuse and sometimes they would be so insistent it would make her cry and apologize for the way the conductor and others treated the "colored." It was really special to share this with Sofia--to give her a real personal example that her grandmother lived and experienced many times. I'm grateful for my Mom's example to stand up for the racism and injustice that existed so prevalently back then and even still exists today. I'm also grateful for Dr. King's example and so is Sofia.

She prayed several times the week of his birthday thanking Heavenly Father for Dr. King and his life. It was precious. For the Martin Luther King Day holiday she had from school she suggested we make him a birthday cake! We had a lot of fun making it: a yellow cake, chocolate frosting, and yellow sprinkles...all Sofia's choice. She made a sun with the sprinkles on the cake. And loved getting to blow out the candles for him!

Sofia putting the candles on the yummy cake!

She was so excited!

Sydnei was oober excited too! After all at the age of 19 months, she does know what cake is...

Sydnei looks so serious here, waiting for the party to get started. I love her big blue eyes!

Papi lighting the got a tad hot for his hands!

Blowing out the candles!

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes by Dr. King:

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Santa Came Early This (last) Year

Miss Sofia shows off the new bunk beds!

He even came early for my birthday. A couple of days before my b-day these gorgeous bunk beds showed up in the girls' room. We had them custom made by an awesome couple that have their own business called Bunk Beds West in Milwaukie, Oregon. Their work is amazing and these bunk beds are even more beautiful in person. They're built solid and were so reasonably priced. We had shopped around the stores forever looking for this and couldn't find a decently priced and well built set of bunk beds anywhere. We found Bunk Beds West on a google search and after doing some homework and seeing their work first hand we were sold. For $1,100 we purchased a twin over full bunk bed with a trundle twin bed drawer underneath plus it came with three brand new mattresses. You can't beat these bad boys.

Top Bunk where Sofia Sleeps

The bedding was my favorite part and a total splurge. We purchased the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids and they coordinate but are different in their base color: pink and lavender. They look so darling and the whole set up it so pretty. We'll be using these killer beds for the next 20 years of raising our kiddos. I love that 4 kids can sleep with this one unit! Score!

Bottom bunk where Sydnei Sleeps and room for one more!

The twin trundle bed right underneath the bottom bunk.
It's not attached so it can be moved to a different part of the bedroom.

Sofia and Sydnei are in love with their beds and Sydnei was an EASY switch to the big girl full-sized bed at 17 months old!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 months and counting...

Me and My Momma on Easter, April 12, 2009
Beaverton, OR
(I LOVE how prettyful my Momma looks)

...since my Mom passed away. I can't believe it's almost been a half of year. I went to an appointment alone this afternoon and when I headed home I had a big cry. I had felt it coming on for many days...but was trying so hard to keep myself together. We had family visiting all weekend and I didn't want to fall apart in front of them. I'm a private griever and my feelings are so raw and tender that I like to have my moments alone. My thoughts were with my parents unceasingly over the last week. I found myself recalling countless past times, experiences, and things they would say often or said directly to me. I vocalized those and whether or not people were tired of hearing them--it was therapeutic for me to share them. Those are the things I openly do with others as part of the grieving process. So, as I drove home today from my appointment I listened to the song "Eternity" by Diamond Rio and cried and listened to it again and cried. I felt that tug in my heart again that you feel when you are truly heart broken. I felt that "little girl" part of me crying out for her Mommy when only she can make me feel better. I felt that emptiness that doesn't completely go away. I felt better because I let myself feel those feelings and didn't repress them any longer. I prayed that my parents were right next to me and could hear me express how much I love them and miss them. I thought about the regret I feel because I didn't tell my Mom about the dream I had that she died two days before she actually died...I have wished ever since that I would have told her so we could have talked about it possibly happening and maybe had some peace about it. I thanked Heavenly Father for understanding how I feel especially when no one else does. And when I arrived home, I was comforted by the hugs and kisses I received from my sweet husband and girls.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And this just makes me happy...

It's the newest addition to our family Christmas traditions and decor, an advent calendar. I love it because it's so big and the pockets fit something for everyone! We started the tradition this year when I found it at Pottery Barn Kids of all places. It is exactly what I wanted. I filled it with all different chocolates from See's Candies...a real treat! It's our special Christmas tradition so it's worth the extra cost at See's to make it just that special.

Sofia is loving it the most. She loves to feel the pockets and figure out what is in each one. They include gold milk chocolate coins, solid milk chocolate Santa's, different colors of foil dark chocolate balls, and a little something extra special for Christmas Eve--two special dark chocolate bars, and Christmas Day--hand picked chocolates and truffles, everyone's individual favorite. And yes, we all have a favorite. :)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

For the first time in our 9 Staley Family Christmases we have purchased a noble fir Christmas tree, placed it in the stand, and actually took it into the house and decorated it--all in one day! It really is a miracle. You see, for the nearly 9 years we've been married one or both of us have been in school 7 of those 9 Christmases. That means that until finals were over--it didn't look or feel like Christmas in our home. My b-day happens to fall on the 9th and ALWAYS during finals week so it never really felt like my b-day either. There was always a post-b-day celebration...but you do what you gotta do and at least we had our priorities straight, right?

David is in his final year of his Master's degree and yet somehow we pulled this off without adding to the stress of time to get other things done like write 20-page papers and 10-page documentaries and 8-page reflection papers and so on and so forth. I'm so happy that we did. It feels great to get a jump start on the Christmas season and I love the smell of the fresh tree in our home! And she (yes the tree is a girl) turned out so pretty!

And these perfect puppies are compliments of my friend Jennifer Vanderlinden. The same person who we've been praying for and her husband, Pete. Yes, she's mighty talented and seriously I swear she is going to have some multi-million dollar business one day filled with all things hand-stitched, sewn, and perfectly hand-crafted. She made the first three stockings 5 years ago and then a new one for Sydnei when she joined our family last year. I remember that night at her house like it was yesterday. We had so much fun--while she did most of the work. I cut squares but really didn't get the sewing part. I am sewing inept. BAD. In spite of my own sewing disabilities, they came out perfect.

Jennifer has always worked so hard to do everything perfect. For a long time I always thought it was to her detriment (and even to her friends detriment who felt they may not be as perfect and far from it) because I worried she wouldn't be satisfied with herself and the things she created or did because of this concern to be perfect. But now, I get it. I know that "being perfect" isn't actually attained in this life--and I think she knows that. But her drive, hard work, and efforts to be and do things perfectly really push her to improve and progress and anything she attempts to do comes out beautiful (and as it turns out we have this trait in common). So over the years, I learned that lesson from her and it certainly helps me to understand her better as a friend...something I wish would have understood sooner. And, so to not digress too much more than I already have, I'll move on. :D

It was so fun to do these stockings together and I wish I could live closer to her so that we could do things like this and maybe I would even learn a thing or two (even with my craft/sewing disability)! The stockings are so cute and perfect and will be in our family forever thanks to Jennifer!!

Sofia stops to smile for the camera while we're decorating the Christmas Tree

Little Stink, Sydnei. She was running around everywhere with stuff all over her while we decorated the tree. She would stop for little moments to find the Dora ornament and rip it off the tree. The ornament in her hand here is one that never made it up because it because it became her favorite ball to play with!

And every year as I place this ornament on the tree I tell Ryan (David for those of you who only know him as David) that I dedicate this ornament to him. It's my FAVORITE!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update and Thank You!

The doctors were able to successfully warm Pete's body and bring him back to consciousness and out of a sedative state! They are still waiting to see how much if any brain damage was done but so far the scans show no major brain damage. He knows who Jennifer is and that he has two boys and one on the way. I got a kick out of the fact that he said only God knows what they're having even though they found out they were having a girl a couple of weeks ago. Needless to say he still has a long road to recovery and hopefully when the medication has worn off he'll show even more progress.

I want to thank each of you who prayed and hoped and prayed and hoped for Pete and his family. I'm grateful for the opportunity to watch this miracle happen especially during the start of the Christmas season. It reminds me why we celebrate this holiday and the miracle and blessing Christ's birth was to every person that has ever lived on this earth.

Please keep up the prayers as they find their way through recovery. There is nothing more powerful than the strength and comfort that comes from on high--and the Vanderlinden's definitely felt that over the last few days. Thanks again.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pray for a Miracle

Jennifer and Pete Vanderlinden

It's definitely the season for miracles as we remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the blessing and miracle His life was and is for each of us. My dear friend, Jennifer and her husband, Pete are in need of a miracle. I know miracles still happen and at the same time I know the Lord has His own will when it comes to our lives. With all the hope, faith, love, and prayer I can muster up, I'm praying for a miracle for the Vanderlinden family. I invite each of you whether you know them or not to do the same.

Vanderlinden Family

Pete, suffered a major cardiac arrest 24 hours ago and has a 2-5% chance of surviving. You can read about what happened here. It sounds like it all happened so fast yet Jennifer was right there where she needed to be to start CPR and get the paramedics there. I don't know anything else other than to pray. I've been the benefactor of many prayers in my life from people I know and don't know. I ask that you remember this sweet family in your prayers. I believe in miracles.

I know with all of my heart that God lives and He loves each of us. I pray for us to unite in prayer with the hopes of saving this young dear father and husband. No matter what happens, I pray for strength to abide with the Vanderlinden family--a strength that comes from no where else but our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Can Do Hard Things

This has become our new mantra both individually and as a couple. It was inspired by Stephanie Nielson who in August of 2008 was in a fiery plane crash along with her husband and a dear friend (their friend passed away from the accident). She has faced countless challenges of recovery including helping her children to adapt to the phsyically "new" mother they didn't recognize when seeing her for the first time months after her accident. To watch an interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show and see how she is doing now, watch this video:

Stephanie's mantra, "I can do hard things" has been inspiring and empowering to me. Personally, it's the line in my head that is now repeated over and over again as I face my own personal struggles. Moments where I feel so alone without my parents, I remind myself, I can get through this...I can still feel their love and influence guiding my life. In the last couple of months I set out on a pretty ambitious goal that I'm not quite ready to talk about with all of blog land or the facebook world. But each day when I work on it, I remind myself, "I can do hard things!"

When David is up to his ears in classes to prepare, papers to write, projects to complete, assignments to grade, and post-graduate documents to create and perfect he reminds himself that he can do hard things. Together we have found this to be such an empowering mantra that as we work to support each other, we find ourselves reminding each other of it--more often than not.

Stephanie's challenges and pain along with my own have reminded me and catapaulted me into a path of personal progress I've only ever dreamed of. The ironic thing is that it's the result of doing and going through really hard things.

The Lord has a way of teaching, comforting, and strengthening us that when we stop and recognize His power and trust Him and ourselves, we find we can do hard things. I'm so grateful for my trials and sorrows and even more so, I'm grateful for my own triumphs over the tragedies I've had to endure. Tragedy and challenges will not erode my faith and they will not erode yours.

May each of you experience your personal strength increase as you unite with the Lord while you pass through your own challenges and triumphs.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Staleys.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Catch Up

Easter Sunday, 2009

Two nicknames stuck very quickly for each of our girls. When Sofia was a budding toddler at age 2, we nicknamed her stink pot for all of the little "tricks" she liked to play and her huge sense of humor. Sydnei's nickname came at a much younger age, Stink. She has had a mischievous flare to her since the day she was born. The funny thing is everyone seems to believe that Sydnei is our quiet, more reserved, mostly introverted child. And nothing could be further from the truth! Both of our girls are funny, love to play little jokes, and each of them have a funny little dare devil side to them that if you turn your head for a second, most likely when you look back you'll have some sort of disaster, I mean, surprise waiting for you!

Playing in the backyard, Spring 2009

These two little "momma's" (another nickname we use for both of them) are the sweetest, cuddliest, funniest, and flamboyant little girls I've ever known. Sure, I'm their Mami, slightly biased, but really they are!

Sofia on her 1st Day of School
September 9, 2009

Sofia is a big shot on campus in her Kindergarten class. She loves making friends and being the line leader. In fact, we had to have a talk about letting others be the line leader even if you were the first one to get to the door. One girl pushed her because she wanted to be the line leader. When Sofia told me about this, I asked what did you do? She, of course, responded: "I shoved her back!" Hence the "stepping aside and letting others be the line leader and how nice it is to do that for a fellow classmate" talk ensued. She has a BFF already, named Lilly. Note: Lilly is only her BFF at school, though. Natalie still holds the BFF overall title. I don't think that will change anytime soon. Sofia is speaking more and more Spanish again. Finally! She's gone through a phase for quite awhile now where she preferred to speak mostly in English but now that she has gone to school with so many other kids that speak Spanish, she loves being able to speak the language too! Sofia is thriving in school and we couldn't be more proud. On her first day of school, she received a "Cool Cat" award for being responsible and following the rules! The ironic thing about that was the weekend before, I was going through my Mom's things and found an award she had saved, which I received in 1983 for following the rules at school. Like mother, like the max! Now, fast forward to the third day of school when Sofia informed me that I didn't have to walk her to class because she was a big girl now and could get there all by herself. So, I agreed, and stood on the sidewalk with tears streaming down my face as I watched our Sofia run across the playground and into the school with her backpack tossing back and forth behind her. It felt like a dagger when straight into my heart. Sofia is known for her strong independence and that is a special quality that enables her to put herself out there and not be afraid to try new things. I just wasn't ready as I so tried to be!

Like I said, Sofia loves to be the Line leader!
Here she is on her very first day!

"MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!! Sydnei's in the toilet!!!"
(Here's to hoping she'll potty train early just like her big sister did!)

Sydnei has come out of her shell quite a bit in the last few months. This little punkin' has quite the opinion about pretty much everything and is not afraid to let you know! She's warming up to different people more and more and loves to smile and make us laugh. Both of our girls do in fact, which, honestly has been something I've needed these last few months. Sydnei says more and more words: agua, Papa, Mama, shoes, yes, bebe, baby, and now when we ask who wants to say the family prayer before bedtime, she raises her hand just as high as she can! Her big sissy, Sofia, is so proud to assist her in this endeavor by standing by her to say the prayer as if she is "helping" Sydnei learn. Precious, indeed. She loves to walk around and hold a baby and pat her on the back. She would read books all day if she could and is constantly picking some out for us to read to her. Oh, and I don't want to forget that lil' Stink feeds herself all by herself. She won't let anyone help her and is always happy to finish anyone's food that is left over! Sydnei has quite the appetite and that's not surprising considering the number of calories she needs to replenish with all the running around that she does! I particularly love how she tries to mess with me when Ryan and I are together. I'll say, "Sydnei, can you say Mama?" And she instantly responds, "PAPA!!!" It's hilarious! When we're driving down the road and Ryan and I are both in the front seats, I'll look at her through the rear view mirror, she'll make eye contact with me, smile, and then shout, PAPA!!! I respond immediately with a MAMA and we go back and forth. Lil' Stink!!!

Apple Festival, Champoeg State Park, St. Paul, Oregon
October 3, 2009

"Two Sissy's"
Champoeg State Park, St. Paul Oregon
October 3, 2009

We're all settled into the new school year and schedule. The girls both arise at 6:30am each morning and we leave at 7:30am to head for school. Bedtime is at a beautiful hour of 7:00pm, which has been our favorite part! :) It's nice to have some peace and quite in the house and wind down before we go to bed. It's a great time to converse about the day and everything going on--uninterrupted! AND, it's nice to have two very rested and energized little girls the next day.

David Ryan Staley, in all his glory
"Would you stop taking pictures of me, Storm?!?!"

Ryan is all settled into his last year of graduate school. He's quite the busy man, teaching Advanced Spanish, Composition, and Literature at the NW Academy, a private school in downtown Portland, and two undergraduate Spanish courses at Portland State University. He's taking three graduate courses of his own so needless to say he is BUSY. Seriously, every hour of his day is scheduled in iCal! Time management will prove to be the key to his success in executing and completing all of his classes and responsibilities successfully. I know he can do it! The best thing of all is that he comes home happy. He has found his passion in life and is well on his way to progressing academically and professionally in a field where he can be in his element and love every second of it not too mention a field that is and always will be high in demand. I'm so proud of him!!!

Me. Indulging in some hot dutch oven apple cobbler, featured at the Apple Festival in St. Paul, Oregon
Champoeg State Park
October 3, 2009

Since Sofia started school, and Ryan started to school, the hours and days go by so fast. I work hard to maintain Sydnei's napping schedule while fitting in music together clases, errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, and a soon to be added Gymboree class. Trying to hold down the fort, keep things organized, and ensure we all at least have clean underwear, fun things to do when we're together, and sanity at home are among my daily duties (love the alliteration there). :) After all, it is the place we all return to--to relax and find comfort with the ones we love.

Me and my dreamboat.
I was 36 weeks pregnant in this picture!!!
May 26, 2008

I love being a stay-at-home Mom. It was quite the transition for me three years ago but I did it. I knew the benefits that it would provide to me and my family. It was a challenge to transition from full-time career Mom to stay-at-home Mom but just like everything else, took some time, patience, and had a learning curve of its own. The balance we have as a family is priceless and the time I get to spend nurturing, rearing, and teaching our children is forever rewarding. And just in case you are wondering, yes, I do have my days when I want to pull my hair out, the times when I look at our girls when they're acting all sorts of crazy in public or private, and think to myself: "geez, some peoples' kids!"...and then pretend to not know them. Oh, and the times, when I'm just not in the mood to clean some HUGE mess for the 50th time. But hey, it comes with the territory!

It speaks for itself. Priceless.

Now all that said about me and my perspective and experience on being a stay-at-home Mom, I want each of you faithful readers to know that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for all mothers: stay-at-home Mom's, part-time working Mom's, and full-time working Mom's. I've been on both sides of the fence and respect the efforts that every Mother makes to take care of and provide for their children and families on so many levels. It really bothers me when people pass judgment on other mothers who have chosen to do things "a little differently" than they have. There is no "one-size fits all" for every family and I would hope that each Mom would feel confident in their choices to provide for their family and not worry about what other people say or think. I certainly love and respect all of my friends that are mothers no matter whether they're working or not. I'm so proud of them and all they do. They're inspirational to me for many different reasons. :) *Warm fuzzies*

Family Picture taken at Memory Grove in Salt Lake City, Utah
June 2009
by A&D Photography

So there you go. A bit of catch up on things happening in our little world. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I am proud I actually took the time to type all of this out! Boy, did ya'll get an earful or what?!?!? I guess I never really have been the kind of person to be at a loss of words!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thoughts and Perspective

My father passed away three years ago and my mother passed away one month ago yesterday. What I learned from the experience of my father's passing and what has again proved to be true for me is that I am a private griever. My heart is broken and my heart and deepest feelings aren't something I share with too many people. There are less than a handful of people in my life who have listened to some of my inner-most thoughts and heartache. Gratefully, they've been there for me during this time and I will never be able to thank them enough.

The person that has been there for me constantly and unwavering is my Savior, Jesus Christ. When I read about the Savior and his time on earth and all that he taught and preached and gave to mankind along with His atoning sacrifice for all of us I find comfort and enlightenment. I find comfort knowing that I'm not alone and that He really does 100% understand how I feel and the pain that I am experiencing.

My parents taught me about Jesus Christ and His love for each one of us. They raised me in a Christian home where Christ was and still is at the center of our lives. My father was a well-studied man with an immense amount of knowledge of the scriptures, the Holy Bible, and the Book of Mormon. My mother was devoutly faithful and always shared her testimony of our Savior. Together my parents taught me about the Eternal Plan of Salvation, which gives me hope and understanding about my purpose in this life and where my family and I will go when our time is finished on this earth.

At this time, I find comfort in the Savior and the knowledge that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, who loves my parents, and who loves each and every one of His children no matter our mistakes and shortcomings. I long to have my parents back and feel lonely on earth without them. But I know, I'll see them again. While it doesn't take all of the pain away, I'm grateful for the testimony and knowledge I have and the loved ones surrounding me, who help to bear me up in the most difficult time of my life thus far. I appreciate them more now than ever before.

While I'm not privileged to know the Lord's purposes in all things, I trust Him. I trust Him with all of my heart and am humbled by my loss and His love for us. I have seen His hand in my life and recognize it now more than I ever have before.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

11 Months (a couple of weeks late)

Posing for the camera while playing with Sissy in the new whale pool!

This little one is the most precious little baby in the whole wide world! She is growing up so fast and won't be a baby much longer. I have mixed emotions about that but am so happy for her progress in so many areas. She's a loving little cuddler. One you have to earn her respect and trust before she'll let you get close. Sydnei has a sweet sense of humor and loves for her Momma to hold her. We are so grateful she came to our family!

Here are some of her milestones and favorite things to do this month:

* Says "uh-oh"
* Pretends to talk on the phone
* Eats finger foods
* Walks like crazy
* Loves to play in AND eat dirt
* Can win any stare-down competition
* Let's you know she wants something with a really loud grunt
* Loves to lay on my shoulder under the warm shower water and listen to me sing to her

She's my little stink and I am so grateful and proud to call myself her Mami. I love you, Sydnei!!!

Whale Pool Mischief--trying to get out of the pool!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10 Months

Historic Carousel at the Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle, Washington on April 26, 2009

Sydnei is in high gear when it comes to her development and what she can do. This child has achieved many milestones just in the last are some to name a few--okay, several:

-Can take two steps unassisted;
-Walks around the house with her push toys;
-Drinks everything from a sippy cup now (it took her one night to master this--she hasn't used a bottle in 3 days!);
-Says the word 'agua;'
-Can make the funniest faces at any stranger that tries to talk to her; and finally,
-Clearly sympathizes with her sister when she gets in trouble--Sydnei is Sofia's #1 fan.

Historic Carousel at the Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle, Washington on April 26, 2009